With how integrated social media is in our everyday lives, I find it hard to differentiate the true relationships from the acquaintances anymore. When it takes two seconds to reach out and message someone, it becomes easy to trick yourself into thinking you are maintaining a relationship. However, this ability to “connect” within anyone instantaneously is a significant problem for those of us with anxiety.
With Facebook’s memories, I find myself constantly reminded of great conversations I’ve had with people, frequently sharing it back with them and saying, “Miss you! We should do it again sometime.”
A couple of weeks later, realizing they never responded, I end up asking if they got my message.
Then after another week of no response, panicking and saying, “Ok, I’ll stop bothering you.”
I know we live in a time where everyone is busy and we’ve created a burnout culture where people seem to feel if you’re not engaged in something 24/7, you’re not successful — but is it really that hard to shoot back a, “Miss you too,” “Sorry my schedule is really hectic right now,” or, “Yeah, you’re right, I’m not really into this friendship.” The ghost mentality of, “I’ll just ignore them until they go away,” is in my mind a pretty cruel and unusual punishment for people who genuinely care about you and your well-being. But hey, maybe to them, you’re only worth an occasional like on a post rather than any extended measure of time, mental energy or effort. Maybe they think you should just get the hint.
It’s just such a shame that we’ve created a world where communication is at our fingertips at all times and yet we’ve become exceptionally bad at communicating, devoid of empathy, and restrictive with our time and compassion.